Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tropical Overnight Oats

Tropical Overnight Oats recipe


Overnight oats are a fantastic breakfast.  Whip them up before bed and grab them on your way out the door to school, work, etc.  It makes eating a healthy breakfast a no-brainer, and what could be better when most of us are bleary-eyed and barely awake yet, but in need of fuel to get us through our day!?

The recipe is adapted from Kath Eats Real Food, who is apparently the queen of overnight oats.  You'll find tons of other enticing flavor combinations on her blog.  These will be a great go-to breakfast for me this summer, since there is no need to turn on your stove to make this oatmeal and it is served cold!

Tropical Overnight Oats recipe


Tropical Overnight Oats

Adapted from Kath Eats Real Food

1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup vanilla coconut milk
1/3 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1/2 mashed banana
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Vemma's Chris Powell Bode Shake)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Dash of cinnamon
Pineapple
Strawberries
Unsweetened toasted coconut
Walnuts

Stir together oats, coconut milk, yogurt, mashed banana, cinnamon and chia seeds in a mason jar.  Cover the jar and place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, top your oats with fruit, nuts, and coconut. Drizzle with honey and serve.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Secret Recipe Club: Chocolate Tofu Mousse

Chocolate Tofu Mousse recipe


This month for Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Ros' blog The More Than Occasional Baker.  Ros has a passion for baking and her blog is full of tempting treats.  I was severely tempted to make her flourless chocolate walnut cookies, because those are my favorite, but I resisted.

In the end, I chose this somewhat strange sounding recipe.  Now, I initially saw "tofu" and was really curious about this "dessert."  As someone who doesn't have a ton of experience with tofu, I hadn't really tried tofu in dessert form.  But, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the tofu doesn't really change the taste, it just gives this mousse a silky texture.  I would probably call it a pudding though, or at least my version was more of a pudding texture. It was definitely tasty, and I felt really good about eating this dessert!  It satisfied my chocolate craving, without leaving me with a single shred of guilt. (Though let's be honest, as a food blogger, I never, ever feel guilty about the things that I eat!)

I did something tricky with this recipe.  You see, my bananas probably weren't quite ripe enough to make the pudding, but I had remembered seeing a recipe for Roasted Banana Cupcakes on Ros' blog!  So I decided to try roasting my ripe, but not ripe enough, bananas for the pudding!! Genius, if I do say so.

Chocolate Tofu Mousse recipe

Chocolate Tofu Mousse

From The More Than Occasional Baker

1 package soft tofu (Ros' was 396 g, mine was 300 g)
2 bananas*
3 heaping teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon raw honey (optional)

*If your bananas aren't very ripe (think bright yellow with minimal brown spots), preheat oven to 375F.  Place the whole bananas, with peels on, on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet.  Roast for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool, then remove the peel.

Whizz together all the ingredients in a food processor.  Divide mixture between ramekins and chill for several hours before serving.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rosée Baked Eggs and a Maison Le Grand Giveaway

Rosee Baked Eggs


I was recently contacted to try out Maison Le Grand's newly launched line of Rosée Sauces.

Maison Le Grand is a family-owned company that makes fresh, delicious cold-pressed sauces and pestos.  Their products are delicious, with minimal processing and all-natural ingredients.  In fact, the ingredient lists are impressive.  

The new rosée sauces are dairy-free, gluten-free, and preservative-free!  I typically make my own sauces, because then I know exactly what is in them.  But Maison Le Grand makes life easy, by making sauces that you can feel good about eating!

Maison Le Grand Rosee Sauce


Maison Le Grand provided me with these lovely sauces and I knew that I was most excited to try the Spicy Rosée.  There are two other flavours - Classic and Rustic - but I love spicy sauces!  (This is not a sponsored post though I was provided with the products.  All opinions are my own. I would not post about a product that I did not believe in 100%.)

I used the Spicy Rosée to make baked eggs.  It is barely a recipe, but it is so delicious!  These baked eggs make a super easy, but elegant brunch dish.  I particularly love the spiciness of the rosée sauce paired with the egg and you can throw these together in no time, because the sauce is so flavourful and doesn't need any extra seasoning.

Rosee Baked Eggs recipe and giveaway

Rosée Baked Eggs

Per Serving

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Maison Le Grand Spicy Rosée Sauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon Maison Le Grand Classic Pesto

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Pour 1/3 cup Spicy Rosée Sauce into a small oven-proof ramekin.  Gently crack an egg on top, then top the egg with the remaining tablespoon of sauce and a teaspoon of pesto.  Swirl gently.  Place the ramekin on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until egg whites are just opaque.  Yolks should still be soft.  Serve with pesto topped toast!

Contest


Because I love these new sauces from Maison Le Grand so much, we are giving you a chance to win a package with all of the new rosee sauces and the whole line of pestos (a $50 value)!  This is unfortunately only open to our readers from Ontario and Quebec, so my apologies to our friends who live elsewhere. 

You can currently purchase the products in:
Quebec: IGA (Sobey’s) // Loblaws // Maxi // Metro // Super C // Provigo Grocery and independant supermarket such as: Adonis, Fromagerie Atwater, Jardin de la Seigneurie, Le Marché Végétarien, P.A, Valmont et plusieurs autres.

Ontario: Highland Farms // Independent (YIG) Your Independent Grocer // Loblaws // Pusateri’s // Valumart // Whole Foods Market // Zehrs

Visit www.maisonlegrand.com, then leave a comment below telling me which product you would most like to try.   Then use the rafflecopter to enter the Maison Le Grand contest below!  The contest ends June 5, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 17, 2013

Strawberry Pineapple Sangria

Strawberry Pineapple Sangria recipe


Just in time for the long weekend, here is a lovely, fruity drink to enjoy while sitting on the patio with friends!  This sangria is delicious!  I love sangria because it is easy to make, yet is quite impressive, and since you make it ahead of time, you can enjoy your company, rather than spend time mixing up drinks. This version makes use of in-season strawberries and pineapple too!

Do you have plans for the long weekend?  It's Victoria Day weekend in Canada, so we get to celebrate the unofficial start of summer a week earlier than our American friends. 

My parents are driving up from Virginia to visit this weekend, and hopefully, we will have a chance to enjoy some beautiful weather and the sights around Ottawa!

Strawberry Pineapple Sangria

Adapted from My Life as a Mrs.

750 ml bottle of semi dry white wine (look for something described as fruity or citrusy)
1 1/2 cup pineapple juice
3/4 cup silver rum
1/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup simple syrup
1 cup diced pineapple
1 cup diced strawberries
3-4 sprigs mint, gently squeezed with hands to release the oils

Stir together the liquid ingredients, then add fruit.  Allow the sangria to sit for a few hours before serving.  Add the mint just before serving.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Halibut with Citrusy Tomatoes and Capers

Halibut with Citrusy Tomatoes and Capers


I initially didn't really like this halibut.  But, then I had it for leftovers, which I rarely do with fish, and it was way better.  I'm not sure how to remedy that, but perhaps you could finish cooking the halibut in the sauce?  Let me know if you try that!

The great thing about this dish is that it is super quick.  This was supposed to be a nice date night meal, but my date had an emergency, so I ended up cooking this up quickly and heading out to a pub to watch a hockey game.  I served the halibut with some quinoa and broccoli, and the whole thing took under 30 minutes to prepare!  In the end, my date got some leftovers too, and he also loved it.

Halibut with Citrusy Tomatoes and Capers

From Real Simple


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons capers
kosher salt and black pepper
4 6-ounce pieces skinless halibut fillet or some other firm-fleshed white fish


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, orange juice, parsley, capers, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down, 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Season the fish with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with the tomatoes.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies recipe

Happy Friday! You deserve a little treat to celebrate.  And what is better than a treat that tastes decadent and delicious, but is actually not terrible for you?  These black bean brownies fit the bill.  They are full of chocolatey flavour and so moist.  You will love them and not even wonder why there are black beans in your brownies.

Hope everyone has a fun, fabulous, and healthy weekend.  Sneak in a few treats and enjoy the sunshine! (Or in my case, I will be enjoying the rain I guess). 

Black Bean Brownies

From The Best of Clean Eating

1 ounce dark organic chocolate (70% cocoa or greater)
1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
2 eggs
1 egg white
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaped cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup raw organic honey
1/2 cup chopped unsalted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray (or line with parchment).

Melt dark chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat with one tablespoon water mixed in.

Combine melted chocolate, beans, eggs, egg white, oil, cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla, applesauce and honey in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Stir in walnuts and pour mixture into the baking dish.

Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing

Thai Kale Salad Recipe


What do you do when you've gotten off track with your eating habits?  Or when you've had an over-indulgent weekend?

Well, my body told me what to do after a weekend full of fun -- Kentucky Derby, a wedding, and Cinco de Mayo -- and my body told me to eat vegetables.  As many vegetables as possible.

Then inspiration hit me and I decided to make a salad, with a dressing so delightful that I would definitely be satisfied.  It has also been helpful to have the Tone It Up community keeping me inspired and helping me hold myself accountable.  TIU (and Chris Powell Bode) has also inspired me in the kitchen, as I've had to get creative to think up fun and delicious ways to feed my body the good stuff - lean protein and tons of veggies.

And then there is this salad, which is full of crunchy vegetables and bright colors.  It looks like a party in a bowl and tastes like a party in your mouth.  The dressing is one of my favorites as well.  It makes anything taste better.

Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing

1 head kale, washed and cut into thin strips
1 medium beet, peeled and grated
1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
2/3 yellow bell pepper, slivered
2 mini cucumbers, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
2 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes

Dressing:
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Bragg's amino acids
Squeeze of half a lime
1/2 teaspoon honey

Prepare the dressing first.  Microwave the peanut butter for about 15-20 seconds.  Whisk in the rest of the dressing ingredients (feel free to adjust the amount of honey / lime juice to your preference).  Pour half the dressing on the kale and massage with your hands.  Let the kale sit for 10 minutes, then add the rest of the vegetables and dressing.  Sprinkle peanuts and coconut on each serving.

I served this with baked chicken breast (bake for 15 minutes per side at 375°F).

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chicken Quinoa Meatballs

When I was in San Francisco, my friend had a container of the most addictive meatballs in her fridge.  So addictive that we polished them off and I had to trek over to Whole Foods to get us some more.  I took down the ingredients in my iPhone's notepad and vowed to try to make the meatballs myself when I got back to Ottawa, since we don't have a Whole Foods here. (Dear WH execs, please put one in Ottawa, thanks! Oh yea, Trader Joe's, you should come here too.)

Anyways, these delicious chicken quinoa meatballs are so simple and full of fresh, wholesome ingredients!  You will not feel one bit of guilt in eating these!


And these are perfect for my new Tone It Up lifestyle. In the past week, I've jumped on the TIU bandwagon for the 3rd annual Bikini Series, and it has been an incredible ride so far.

Tone It Up was started by two amazing trainers and nutritionists, Karena and Katrina.  These girls are best friends, and seriously, take one look at them and you'd be inspired to listen to every word they had to say to help you work on your bikini body!! Their program is all about eating lean, clean and green and being strong, fit women.  They have some great workout DVDs and post tons of workouts and YouTube videos on their blog. There is also a TIU nutrition plan (in regular, vegetarian, gluten-free, and pescatarian), that I haven't yet purchased (it is a lifetime membership for $150), but I am considering it, because from everything I have heard, it is totally worth it.  For now, I am sticking with my Chris Powell Bode transformation plan, which is similar in that it focuses on eating 5 small meals during the day that are full of lean protein and lots of veggies, with a limited intake of complex carbs.

My favorite part of TIU though is that Karena and Katrina (the other K&K) created a community for women to support each other as they work toward living a healthy and fit life.  And this community is awe inspiring!  I've already become friends with so many incredible women, who are so supportive of each other.  And some of my friends have joined me in the Bikini Series too!  It is so fun to check-in with each other and help each other stay on track.  It has been a fun journey so far and I can't wait to rock my bikini body this summer!  You can follow along on my Instagram account or join the Bikini Series yourself!!  And continue to check back for recipes as I work on eating clean.


Chicken Quinoa Meatballs

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast - (or 1 lb. lean ground chicken)
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup grated carrot
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs (or panko + 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

I recommend grinding the chicken breast yourself.  I did this in a food processor.  The texture is better and frankly, sometimes ground meat scares me.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Place a wire rack in the bottom of a jelly roll (rimmed) baking sheet).  Spray the rack with cooking spray.

Mix together all of the ingredients so that they are well combined and so that quinoa and carrots are evenly distributed throughout.

Roll the mixture into balls (you can decide how big to make them, but the cooking time listed is for balls about 1-1/2 inches in diameter).  Place the balls onto the wire rack.

Bake for 25-30 minutes (or until juice runs clear).

Makes 16-20 meatballs (depending on size).

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